Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Secret law in the US

"Secret law" is considered one of the hallmarks of tyranny. So naturally, the US national security state is using it to defend its illegal, unaccountable drone program from public scrutiny:

Congress has moved to block President Obama’s plan to shift control of the U.S. drone campaign from the CIA to the Defense Department, inserting a secret provision in the massive government spending bill introduced this week that would preserve the spy agency’s role in lethal counterterrorism operations, U.S. officials said.

The measure, included in a classified annex to the $1.1 trillion federal budget plan, would restrict the use of any funding to transfer unmanned aircraft or the authority to carry out drone strikes from the CIA to the Pentagon, officials said.

The provision represents an unusually direct intervention by lawmakers into the way covert operations are run, impeding an administration plan aimed at returning the CIA’s focus to traditional intelligence gathering and possibly bringing more transparency to drone strikes.

The clause was inserted by the Appropriations Committee; most of Congress never read it, or even had any idea it existed until they read about it in the newspapers. But they voted for it anyway - in the process voting for secret laws to protect an unaccountable executive's covert murder program. America's founders must be rolling in their graves!

[Hat-tip: Secrecy News]